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The well known Mind vs Brain.

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 12:10 am
JLN,

Yes, it points to transcendence of "systems" but it does not solve the epistemological problem that for the mind/consciousness there may be no a priori vantage point, By this I mean that whereas there is consensus on the "function of a university" there is no consensus for the "function of the mind" or indeed whether "function" is an appropriate word except for our need to predict and control. This point implies that identifying a location in the brain "concerned with memory" is no more significant than identifying building in Oxford "concerned with books" (without "knowing" the various functional categories "bookshop", "library", "printing works", "department of English" etc)
stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 12:24 am
Don't get caught up with definitions. The distinction that crayon made between the words for mind and brain was obvious. The words he chose to represent his idea are irrelevant and need not be analyzed.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 12:28 am
stuh,

No definitions are being attempted here....just the opposite...the discussion of the pitfalls of definition!

Edit: JLN's earlier point that "minds" invented the category "brains" is a central issue here. It may be, for example, that what we call "thought" is as much seated in what we call "the endocrine system" as it is in "neurons". Also "thought" may have roots in "social systems" via "language".

The word "obvious" applied to Crayon's distinction is philosophically untenable.
stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 09:42 am
I think language provides a structure that makes it easier for us to think logically, but it does not enable or affect our underlying capability for thought.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 11:47 pm
I'm having trouble grasping all that's said here, but I am intrigued by the distinction Fresco makes between the consensus we CAN hold on the "function of a university" and our inability to define the "function of the mind." It seems VERY OBVIOUS that we can define the function of a university, car, house, etc. because we MADE THEM with functions in mind. But things like minds that have grown into existence have "functions" only in the sense of interpretations such as hypothesized unintended (non-teleological) evolutionary consequences. In the case of such grown things we must generate interpretations of possible functions after the facts of their existence--but this is not so with universities for which there are functions in advance of their manufacture.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 12:45 am
JLN,

....that point is the key to understanding the Santiago theory of cognition. It attempts to deconstruct the word "function" and replace it (for cognition at least) by the word "process".
http://www.resurgence.org/resurgence/articles/capra.htm
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 11:33 am
Thanks, Fresco for this link. I've been slowly moving through Capra's The Turning Point. Much of it is no longer non-controversial", but I am looking forward to The Web of Life. His approach seems to me the intellectual equivalent of the mystic's intuitive grasp of Reality's dynamic unity (achieved by an approach consistent with Nietzsche's "dialectical monadology"?).
0 Replies
 
crayon851
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Sep, 2006 04:51 pm
I'm really having issues absorbing all that has been said here. Everything seems so sophisticated, I'm really have difficulty understanding what it is you are all talking about now. please make it a bit simpler, thanks Very Happy
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Sep, 2006 05:38 pm
crayon,

A central issue in understanding problems of mind and brain is the rejection of "naive realism" i.e the view that "the physical world" is composed of "things" independent of observers. If you dwell on this issue with reference to Heisenberg's dictum*that we never observe "the world". only the result of our techniques of observation, then it follows that all concepts whether they be "brains" or "minds" or anything else are constructed to function within the social contexts wthin which they are named. Thus attempts at physical reduction of "mind" to "brain"are futile as "explanations" because "the physical" itself needs explaining.

The sophistication, if any, comes with further contemplation of the general problems of knowledge (epistemology) and existence (ontology) which the philosophy of mind highlights. Contributions from Piaget (genetic epistemology) and the existential philosophers are important in these devolopments.

* (nterestingly theres also a Talmudic version..."The world is not as it is - it is as we are".)
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Sep, 2006 05:43 pm
And we need to make it better.
0 Replies
 
crayon851
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Feb, 2007 04:27 am
Would it be possible to say that only the Brain itself exists and that all the personality traits are based on the mechanical makeup of the brain itself? Hopefully I said that correctly.

Since the brain has so many pathways that brainwaves can pass through, all in which are linked to different personality traits,dislikes and likes. Would that mean that everything we do is mechanical?Like The way in which we react and respond to different stimuli? For example, some people laugh at someone getting a footload in the 'Ol' nutsack and others don't. Or how some people enjoy reading and others do not. I think its safe to say that there is not one person in the world who is alone in their likes and dislikes.

If the mind was existent, this would mean that everyone would be unique, yet we often find people who are the same as us. Since we are able to find people who are the same, I think that would mean that our brains are built the same way and so we react and respond the same way.

Would that mean that only the BRAIN exists and not the MIND?
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Feb, 2007 08:06 am
crayon,

That point has been dealt with. We can no more say that "the mind does not exist - only the brain"... as "the university does not exist, only its buildings". Like the concept of "a university" the concept of "mind" has psyhological and social functions beyond the description of its physical hardware.Particular hardware may be a necessary but not sufficient condition for the operation of particular software.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Feb, 2007 10:28 am
Fresco, how concisely put.

Crayon, regarding your question: "Would that mean that only the BRAIN exists and not the MIND?"
Your very question (as well as my awareness and understanding of it) is a manifestation of mind.
Indeed, that is what we mean by "mind." I SEE only mind (or minding) in this sense. And, paradoxically, I only THINK "brain", because when I SEE the actual organ (usually in a jar) it is no more than a mental experience with thoughts of an "objective" phenomenon.
0 Replies
 
Brother James
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 01:26 pm
@crayon851,
The error of your assumption is in "thinking" the brain is more than it is. What controls the human body is the MIND, not the brain. But because the MIND is invisible, or cannot be perceived by the brain, the MIND can remain invisible in its operations.
Peace
0 Replies
 
Brother James
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 01:37 pm
@crayon851,
There is a basic [but largely unrecognized] difference between people. The difference is between those who are limited to "thinking", and those who think but also have access to the faculty of Intuition. As the thinker tries harder and harder to explain that which is intangible, Intellectualism comes into play: The dog chasing its tail. This is only "understandable" to "thinkers". To comprehend, realize that Man is composed of four simultaneously existing and yet entirely separate vibrational dimensions, only one of which is physical: Brain, body and physical senses. 3/4ths of Man are two dimensions of MIND, and the Spiritual dimension. All of which are invisible to the brain, and can only be experienced by ones faculty of Intuition. Peace
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jan, 2013 02:36 pm
@Brother James,
Whose system is this ?
Brother James
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 12:21 pm
@fresco,
I would say its mostly Eastern mysticism, an extension of Freud [with countless corrections] and a bit of Perls, and what the Gnostic ancient Greeks intended Psychology to be.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2013 01:33 am
@Brother James,
Yes...it rings a few esoteric bells !
IMO the problem with "intuitive self" is similar to that of "higher state of consciousness" or a Buddhist "escape from samsara". That issue is whether such a state is merely reducible to "brain chemistry"(because drugs certainly have similar effects}, or whether such states are "tapping into" some fundamental substrate which has been termed "holistic consciousness" or similar.
That "issue" illustrates the dichotomy proposed by the OP, but there is a third course of analysis involving the role of language in "thought", and the fact that language is rooted in social dynamics. From that point of view both "mind" and "brain" are merely descriptive sub-systems nested within a larger dynamic system of "social interaction" (perhaps like the inter-cohesion of an insect colony). Consideration of this non-dichotomous position should minimally make us cautious about making firm statements about "intuition",
Brother James
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2013 08:56 am
@fresco,
After 30+ years as a psychotherapist specializing in the MIND and Spiritual dimensions of Man, I no longer question the difference between thinking [brain] and Intuition [an aspect of what I refer to as Apapsyche [Operational Energy of ones Soul]. But since most people are pretty much confined to the brain and thinking [and lack much access to Intuition], most people "think" about everything, even Intuition.
0 Replies
 
Brother James
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2013 09:07 am
Something that needs to be introduced into education, world-wide, but certainly in America, is a "reality" to counter the century old mistaken notion of Skinner's that there is nothing within Man to explain behavior. Skinner was trained in Behavioral Science, and knew absolutely nothing of the MIND . And like many scientists of his time, he was "locked" into his brain and in denial of the Esoteric dimensions of himself which his brain could not perceive.
0 Replies
 
 

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